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Teamsters agree with Cooper; lockout continues

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Fleet truck drivers represented by Teamsters Local 20 ratified a new three-year contract with Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. on Feb. 18, 2012. The labor agreement covers fleet truck drivers located in Findlay, Ohio.

"This group of drivers continually works hard to operate safely and abide by all federal and state regulations, and at the same time control costs as much as they can," says Douglas Lyon, Cooper's manager of fleet operations. "They have continued to put the company first and work very hard to maintain a safe and efficient record."

The new Teamsters pact was the second contract ratification within the last seven days. A new four-year labor agreement covering USW Local 556L members at the company's Clarksdale, Miss., facility was overwhelmingly approved on February 16.

"Local leadership did a great job of representing its membership, and we commend the union for their willingness to work together to address issues that are important to the employees, this facility, the company, and the community of Clarksdale," says Clarksdale Plant Manager Fred Doster.

In contrast, Cooper and United Steelworkers Local 207L in Findlay have yet to negotiate a deal to end the tire plant lockout that began Nov. 28, 2011.

In order to focus attention on the more than 1,000 workers locked out of the consumer tire manufacturing plant in Findlay, the USW and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union have announced a joint project, "From Fargo to Findlay: A Journey for Justice."

Locked out workers from both Cooper and the American Crystal Sugar Co. will embark on a road trip from Fargo, N.D., to Findlay. The trip will cover more than 1,000 miles; along the way, the workers will participate in rallies and fundraisers, and direct actions with local union members and allies along the way.

The six-state Journey for Justice will begin on Wed., Feb. 22, 2012, with a rally in Fargo.

For more information on Cooper and its products, visit www.coopertire.com or www.facebook.com/coopertire.

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